Day 11 – Professional Advice from Alleghany Meadows, Make, Use, Look, Think

Schedule with many changes

Our schedule ended up looking like this with lots of changes but we still got everything done.

Here are a few pearls of wisdom from Alleghany.  I apologize for the wonky memory these were taken from notes written months ago!

  1. Making work is your expression of your experience in the world.  It is important that someone wants to live with your pots.  Look at the weaknesses before setting up.  Know the field, the traditions and actively pursue and make within those traditions.
  2. How to put work out in the world?  Functional pots – the buyers love to meet the person who made the work.  Look for non profit art center galleries, such as The Clay Studio, Philadelphia or Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis.  Apply to juried shows, keep putting the work in front of jurors.  Try applying to artist in residence programs to focus on studio practice.  Important to document your work.
  3. Metaphor: you have a really smooth functioning car and you take out the engine and all its parts.  Then you put the parts back together some will thrive and some with not.
  4. Artist’s statements: thinking and writing about your work in the language of making.  What is the process?  For example – Anne Currier’s work is clean and sculptural, Tony Marsh, Chris Gustin, Bobby Silverman are about the contrasts.  Read their artists statements.

And so we came to the goodbyes and Meg Kelly read the following:

Hopi Prophecy 2000

“Here is a river flowing now very fast.
There will be those who are afraid.
Who will try to hold onto the shore.
They are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know that the river has it’s destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river keep our eyes open and our heads above water.
And I say see who is there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history we are to take nothing personally least of all ourselves.
For the moment we do our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the one wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration for we
are the ones we have been waiting for.”


Day 11, Clean Up, Unload Kilns, Auction, Alleghany Meadows, Make, Use, Look, Think

Every piece of equipment must be washed clean, the wheels, stools, tables are moved outside and the floor is hosed down.

We unloaded the reduction kiln which was a great firing.  The salt – not so great.  The kiln went into reduction too early and thus the clay was reduced which affected the glazes.  Clay bodies were gray with pitted and crawled glazes.  The worst were the celadon glazes.

That is the way it is with ceramics.  Just move on and make some more pieces.

Auction was a lot of fun.  Alleghany donated this wonderful Flora set.


Day 9 Glazing and Loading kilns, Day 10 Assembling Stack forms, Firing the Salt Kiln, Alleghany Meadows, Make, Use, Look, Think

Day 9 was a whirlwind of glazing, glazing, and loading, loading!  And then a gorgeous beach afternoon.

Assembling stack forms

Firing the salt kiln.  There is nothing quite like a salt firing to bring a community together.


Day 8, Platters, Big Bowls, Unload the Salt, Discuss Use, Alleghany Meadows, Make, Use, Look, Think

The kitchen has a long list of serving dishes needed.  We got a demo and they will get their dishes.

11lb bowl was 7 1/2″ high and 15″ wide at the top.

15lb platter 2 1/2″  high and 18″ wide

12lb bowl 6″ high and 13″ wide at the top

We unloaded the salt kiln.  All these photos were taken by Alexis Eynon

Then we discussed the firing and USE.

Day 5,6, Glaze, Lobster Feast on the Rocks, Firing Salt Kiln, Alleghany Meadows, Make, Use, Look, Think

Salt kiln is loaded and firing begins.

Day 4 Evan Christopher, Make/Listen, Alleghany Meadows, Make, Use, Look, Think

Day 4 continued.  At 11am we had a special Make and Listen session – blind throwing.  Evan Christopher, a “contemporary early-jazz” clarinetist and composer, the resident artist this week at Haystack was to play for us.  We were to be blindfolded and throw pots using touch while responding to his music.  Can we even center and pull up the walls without using our eyes.

Even though the water was freezing we went swimming!  The sky was beautiful this night.  Haystack is a magical place.